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Zimbabwe Not Paying 1,000 Teachers Rehired After Unity Gov't Formed

  • Gibbs Dube

PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said teacher representatives have demanded that the government urgently address the situation, as some of rehired teachers have abandoned their classrooms

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Monday that the country's Public Service Commission owes more than two years of salaries to more than 1,000 teachers who rejoined the public service in 2009 when the new unity government declared an amnesty for those who had left the profession for various reasons.

PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said teacher representatives have demanded that the government urgently address the situation, as some of rehired teachers have abandoned their classrooms and left the country because of non-payment of salaries.

Zhou said politics appeared to be a factor in the issue as many unpaid teachers are members of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

He said the 8,000 teachers who responded to the amnesty were also victimized because the Public Service Commission only gave them 12-month contracts, not permanent posts.

VOA Studio 7 was unable to reach Education Minister David Coltart or Public Service Minister Lucia Mativenga immediately for comment.

Zhou said Public Service Commission staff must be held accountable.

"It is surprising that the government is victimizing these professionals at a time when it is looking for teachers in order to revive the education sector," he said.

Political analyst George Mkhwanazi said he believes some Public Service Commission staff with ties to ZANU-PF are discriminating against the rehired teachers.

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